21 Brothers (2011)




Director:     Michael McGuire.

Starring:     Steven Spencer (Cpl. Jensen), Clayton Garrett (Sgt. Mac Reid), Tom Sinclair (Pte. Matheson), Jonathan Pap (Pte. Langdon),  Brian MacDonald (Pte. Brooks), Steve VanVolkingburgh (Lt. Robert Thomas), Aaron Miedema (Cpl. Pears), Zorba Dravillas (Pte. Banks), Dorian Hartley (Pte. Cuddy), Christopher Hoeft (Pte. Reid),  Michael McGuire (Pte. Wilson), Jacob Wilkins (Pte. Hancock), L. Robert Tippin (Pte. Morton), Dann Bertrand (Pte. Potter), Grant Nalepa (Pte. Grant).

a film I did not like about a lot of talk before the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, September 15, 1916








My wife and I did not like the film.  (I have to add the caveat that the DVD quit on us long before we saw the ending.)  The Canadian troops were talking about their home towns and other things with almost nothing relating to the oncoming battle.  I started fast forwarding through the conversations and then finally ran into a blockage on the DVD.  Yuck!

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D. 


Historical Background:

Battle of Flers-Courcelette


December 1915  --  Franco-British commitment to an offensive on the Somme was made during Allied discussions at Chantilly, Oise.

February 1916  --  German Army began the Battle of Verdun on the Meuse. 

1 July and 18 November 1916 --  the Somme Offensive took place on either side of the River Somme in France.  More than l,000,000 men were wounded or killed.

1 July 1916  --  a serious defeat for the German Second Army, which was forced out of its first line of defense by the French Sixth Army, from Foucaucourt-en-Santerre south of the Somme to Maricourt on the north bank and by the British Fourth Army from Maricourt to the vicinity of the Albert–Bapaume road. This day was the worst day in the history of British Army, which had c. 60,000 casualties.

1–17 July 1916 --  first phase of the Somme Offensive.

July – September 1916  -- second phase of the Somme Offensive.

September - November 1916  -- third phase of the Somme Offensive.

15-22 September 1916  --  Battle of Flers–Courcelette.

This was the third and final general offensive mounted by the British Army, which took Morval, Lesboeufs and Gueudecourt.  The French attacked Frégicourt and Rancourt to encircle Combles.  While there was no breakthrough, the front line was advanced by over 2,500–3,500 yards (2,300–3,200 m) with many German casualties being inflicted. The battle is also notable for the début of the Canadian Corps and New Zealand Division on the Somme and the first use of the tank.



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